Narendra Modi launches 'Act Far East' policy: Here is all you need to know about proposed new trade ties with Russia

On Thursday, PM Narendra Modi launched the 'Act Far East' policy when he paid a visit to Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin in Vladivostok, Russia.

FP Staff September 06, 2019 13:34:21 IST
Narendra Modi launches 'Act Far East' policy: Here is all you need to know about proposed new trade ties with Russia
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the 'Act Far East' policy during his two-day visit to Russia, where he announced a $1 billion line of credit for the development of the resource-rich region.

  • He asserted that India will walk shoulder-to-shoulder with Russia in its development of the Far East.

  • The prime minister, who arrived in Russia on a two-day visit on Wednesday, is the first Indian prime minister to visit the Russian Far East Region.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the 'Act Far East' policy during his two-day visit to Russia, where he announced a $1 billion line of credit for the development of the resource-rich region. He asserted that India will walk shoulder-to-shoulder with Russia in its development of the Far East.

The prime minister, who arrived in Russia on a two-day visit on Wednesday, is the first Indian prime minister to visit the Russian Far East Region.

"Let us deepen the bond between India and Russia even further. India is proud of the achievements of the Indian diaspora. I am sure here in the Russian Far East too, the Indian diaspora will make an active contribution towards the region's progress," Modi said.

He appreciated Russian president Vladimir Putin's vision for the welfare for Russia's Far East saying the president has opened up investment opportunities for India in the region.

"He (Putin) has declared the development of the Russian Far East a national priority for the 21st century. In his holistic approach here and in every aspect of life be it economy, or education, health, sports, culture or communication, trade or tradition there is a serious effort to make everyone better. On one hand, they have opened the way of investment and on the other hand have given equal attention to social sectors," Modi said, adding that he was impressed with the Russian president's vision.

Narendra Modi launches Act Far East policy Here is all you need to know about proposed new trade ties with Russia

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin. AP.

What is this policy all about?

Modi, in the presence of Putin, unveiled the "Act Far East" policy to boost India's engagement with Russia's Far East region.

"For the development of the Far East, India will give a line of credit worth $1 billion. My government has actively engaged in East Asia as part of its 'Act East' policy. I firmly believe that today's announcement will add a new dimension to the economic diplomacy of the two countries," Modi said at a packed house in Vladivostok.

'Act Far East' is said to be an extension to India’s Act East policy.

The focus of the Act East policy, which began as a “Look East policy” — that was launched by the former prime minister PV Narasimha Rao in 1991 — was to shift the country's trading focus from the west and neighbour to the booming South East Asian countries.

Its major objectives are to increase the interaction of the northeastern Indian states with other neighbouring countries and to curb the increasing impact of China in the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) region.

Some of the major projects in this collaboration with South-East Asian countries include the Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project, the India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway Project, Border Haats and Rhi-Tiddim Road Project, etc.

So far, it has not only helped build better bilateral ties with the eastern countries but also shifted the focus from the west, to further enhance global understanding and multi-lateral cooperation.

What is the difference between the 'Look East' and 'Act East' policy of India?

The distinction between them is that the former aimed to increase economic ties with only the "South-East Asian countries" whereas the latter aimed to increase economic as well as defence-related ties with "Southeast and East Asian countries".

Today, even 15 years after his death, Narasimha Rao’s initiative continues to be a developmental strategy to harness economic and strategic relations with the nations of Southeast Asia.

In his speech in Russia, Modi said the friendship between India and Russia was not restricted to governmental interactions in capital cities but was about people and close business relations.

With inputs from agencies

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